The "Napa-fication" of the Willamette Valley

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Bob Wood
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The "Napa-fication" of the Willamette Valley

#1 Post by Bob Wood » September 30th, 2010, 2:27 pm

Sad. The Hyland Vineyard outside McMinnville is being sub-developed into nine homesites by its owners - who, surprisingly for a venture like this, are not named Evenstad - and their various entities. The entire development, on a site which is gorgeous as you can see, will have "exclusive access through a grand, gated entrance". Lots (vines included, but some will have to be ripped out for the actual homesites) range from $699,000 to $1.3 million. Owners can choose to lease their vineyard acreage back to whichever of the entities is actually buying fruit for the sum of about $3,000 per acre, per year, which sounds on the low side to me.

These same people, in addition to their other ventures of two winery labels, a wine bar and a custom crush facility, are also involved in a venture that is selling the opportunity to make wine as a hobbyist. With professional help, of course. For this privilege, along with some things like use of an event facility and concierge service, the buyer pays $5000 up front and up to $20,000 per year - which amounts to one barrel of finished wine.

I don't begrudge anyone their big ideas, and one of the owners is Gary Andrus' (Pine Ridge, Archery Summit) daughter who, I'm sure, learned from her father how to do things in a big way, but I'm sorry. All this makes me very, very sad. See link below picture for more info - just in case you want to live like the rich and famous.

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Re: The "Napa-fication" of the Willamette Valley

#2 Post by M. Dildine » September 30th, 2010, 2:34 pm

Surprisingly, an area that seems to have avoided "Californication", at least to some extent, is Sonoma - Sonoma Valley, RRV, Dry Creek, etc. (or maybe I've just managed to avoid the blight)?
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Re: The "Napa-fication" of the Willamette Valley

#3 Post by Carole Meredith » September 30th, 2010, 4:16 pm

Sounds more like Livermore-ification to me. There's a big development like that in Livermore but hardly anything along those lines here in Napa.
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Re: The "Napa-fication" of the Willamette Valley

#4 Post by John Osburn » September 30th, 2010, 4:27 pm

I guess Laurent has "come a long way" since his stint making wine at Bridgeview winery in Cave Junction...

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Re: The "Napa-fication" of the Willamette Valley

#5 Post by mstockley » September 30th, 2010, 4:31 pm

Looks like the leasing gives a 3% return on investment if you leave the land as-is. You can do worse these days.
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Re: The "Napa-fication" of the Willamette Valley

#6 Post by Larry P » September 30th, 2010, 5:29 pm

Carole Meredith wrote:Sounds more like Livermore-ification to me. There's a big development like that in Livermore but hardly anything along those lines here in Napa.
Livermoron-ification I think it's spelled. And yes there are a couple of these, although I'm not sure vineyards were ripped up to put them in. The houses are interplanted with vines, and if the crush yields anything like some of the other young vine cuvees you can find around here, that's probably punishment enough. OTOH ripping up an old vineyard is another story...

Curiously, for all the criticisms of monoculture in wine growing regions, I've read that the real advantage of wine grapes is that they are the one cash crop that yeilds enough $/acre to hold back development. I guess not the case in Oregon.
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Re: The "Napa-fication" of the Willamette Valley

#7 Post by Gordon Fitz » September 30th, 2010, 6:58 pm

For once the sentimental side of me agrees with Bob, kinda of scary. His shot at the Evansteads which have a history of buying land they don't need to preserve the rural feel of heal area, is, as I often said, predictable and undendable, but that's Bob.

Just a thought outside of the box. The WV is rapidly developing large tracts of forestland like mad into vineyards. This is sad also, but, imo, it is leading to the production, in the near future, of huge amounts of new fruit in the WV. Is this savvy young lady foreseeing a huge supply/demand imbalance in the WV? The wine industry currently suffers from a supply/demand imbalance over. If every forest can be turned into a winery, then perhaps this may be the only way to make money in the wine industy in the future. Would anyone care for all the deals I've been offered on 05,06,07, and now 08 wines in the last last month. I've been offered case amounts at half the price of only July purchases that haven't shipped. Makes one look silly for buying early. Spent near a week in the WV earlier in the month. My prediction: they will be wonderful early drinking wines. Don't buy futures! You may well buy them half price next summer.

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Re: The "Napa-fication" of the Willamette Valley

#8 Post by Bob Wood » September 30th, 2010, 8:04 pm

Gordon Fitz wrote:. . . the Evansteads which (sic) have a history of buying land they don't need to preserve the rural feel of heal area . . .
Sorry, Gordon. That's crap, it's been proven to be crap to your face (or as close to your face as one can get on an Internet board) and it will continue to be crap for as long as the Evenstad's winery and home continue to infringe upon the rural feel of the southern Dundee Hills. Whatever the reason they bought the property, it wasn't because they're community-minded.
Gordon Fitz wrote:The WV is rapidly developing large tracts of forestland like mad into vineyards.
This is also crap. Before you go off, remember that I live here while you visit now and then.
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Re: The "Napa-fication" of the Willamette Valley

#9 Post by GregT » September 30th, 2010, 8:12 pm

The WV is rapidly developing large tracts of forestland like mad into vineyards
I guess that means they can't make "natural" wine. (Natural wine of course comes from grapes that planted themselves, grafted themselves, and vinified themselves, using only the yeasts that they introduced to the area themselves.)

But your point is interesting. People bemoan the loss of great vineyards for housing, but the same people don't often bemoan the loss of forest and "scrub" for the vineyards. I wonder where people come out on that. I suppose, in the larger scheme, the loss of more forest or natural land is a greater concern than the loss of vineyards, no matter how extraordinary. Vineyards require only a few acres here and there. But to be of any use, wild areas need to be contiguous and large. That it's happening in Oregon is particularly interesting because cities like Portland are known for having fairly strict zoning regs.
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Re: The "Napa-fication" of the Willamette Valley

#10 Post by Bob Wood » September 30th, 2010, 8:49 pm

Well, Greg, his point is not accurate. It's very difficult to cut down one tree in Oregon, much less hundreds of acres of them, which is what Gordon's talking about. Calpers had their shot and I doubt anyone else is stupid enough - especially now - to plant anything but a boutique vineyard, even though there's lots of south-facing property available that's devoted to pastureland, hay or scrub - not forest.

Just to clarify on another point. I'm not bemoaning clearing vineyard land for houses in this development. They're doing it an acre at a time, which isn't bad, and it's only nine total acres out of whatever the total is - that I'm too lazy to go look up. My point in even mentioning it was that the buyers won't get their full property in vines - and it's just for clarification. Hell, I gotta hand it to these people. Laurent, Danielle and their partners have figured out how to make a profit on a vineyard they recently bought by selling it in pieces like any other piece of dirt while they still, in all likelihood, retain the rights to the fruit. Good job on the business front.

I'm not really bemoaning the development, though on re-reading it probably sounds like I am. It's the grandiose and pretentious nature of the whole thing that bothers me, which I guess I didn't make clear. McMansions come to wine country, if you will. What you see below is probably what will get built - though that one's missing the requisite 2-story arched entry, the imposing facade and the turrets, but it does have a tennis court. These things are NOT any more attractive in a vineyard than they are anywhere else. Imagine 9 of them on that property - without the barn, of course.

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Re: The "Napa-fication" of the Willamette Valley

#11 Post by Randy Sloan » September 30th, 2010, 9:03 pm

Thread title = FAIL

I believe since 1990 in Napa County...
Lands categorized as Open Space are subcategorized as Agricultural Resource (“AR”) or Agriculture, Watershed and Open Space (“AWOS”). The Napa County General Plan includes a minimum parcel size of 40 acres for lands within the AR subcategory and a minimum parcel size of 160 acres for lands within the AWOS subcategory.

Basically, land outside the little town limits can't be subdivided unless it is a very large parcel. We have many problems, but we are trying to keep out subdivisions.
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Re: The "Napa-fication" of the Willamette Valley

#12 Post by Bob Wood » September 30th, 2010, 9:36 pm

Randy Sloan wrote:Thread title = FAIL

I believe since 1990 in Napa County...
Lands categorized as Open Space are subcategorized as Agricultural Resource (“AR”) or Agriculture, Watershed and Open Space (“AWOS”). The Napa County General Plan includes a minimum parcel size of 40 acres for lands within the AR subcategory and a minimum parcel size of 160 acres for lands within the AWOS subcategory.

Basically, land outside the little town limits can't be subdivided unless it is a very large parcel. We have many problems, but we are trying to keep out subdivisions.
While technically you are, in fact, correct about houses . . . I give you this.

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Re: The "Napa-fication" of the Willamette Valley

#13 Post by blainemorris » September 30th, 2010, 10:12 pm

Bob: Great avatar!

I disagree with your "Napa-fication" premise. I agree that we all hope that "the man" doesn't "pave paradise and put up a parking lot", but IMHO this simply has not happened in Napa (or definitely not Sonoma). Good vineyard land in Napa isn't getting developed for subdivisions. There's a natural tendency in the Pac NW to disavow any sort of "Californication", but subdividing Napa vineyards is a poor, fictitious example.

Say what you want about the travesty of subdividing a vineyard in your neck of the woods, but don't make it Napa's problem.

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Re: The "Napa-fication" of the Willamette Valley

#14 Post by Randy Sloan » October 1st, 2010, 12:49 am

Bob Wood wrote:While technically you are, in fact, correct about houses . . . I give you this.

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Re: The "Napa-fication" of the Willamette Valley

#15 Post by Gordon Fitz » October 1st, 2010, 5:33 am

Bob;

Perhaps being there every day you don't notice all the new vineyards going in and the gaint swaths being taken out of the forest. Check with the county and see how many acres of vineyards have been added in the past 5 years. I think you will find the number to be rather large.

no comment on your distaste for "McMansions". That's an individual thing.

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Re: The "Napa-fication" of the Willamette Valley

#16 Post by Rick Allen » October 1st, 2010, 6:15 am

A couple of thoughts and notes,
First, thanks to Cal PERS, there is more vineyard land in Oregon than demand warrants. I'm not sure how long it will take for demand to meet supply but it may be a while.
Second, from what I understand, the current general rule in Yamhill County is that a house cannot be built on farm (or forest) land unless the parcel is greater than 40 acres, or can be shown to produce at least $80,000 in revenue a year. There are exceptions, of course.
Third, most of the new vineyard land was previously being farmed in Filberts (Hazelnuts) or Grass seed or was pasture land. From a historical farming standpoint Grapes, Berries, Filberts, and Grass Seed have been the four most profitable crops grown in the Valley, although there is currently a very large surplus of grass seed (Oregon produces 90% of the world's supply) and grapes don't look so hot right now.
Fourth, the Trappist Abbey that owns about a quarter of the Dundee Hills just agreed that their property will never be developed into a vineyard, but will be maintained as a sustainable forest.
Last, Hyland is not a new vineyard, just new owners. It was planted in the 70s.

Gordon, There has certainly been an increase in vineyard land in Oregon. There has also been a decline in the acreage devoted to Filberts, Hops, and Grass Seed. Hell, Stoller Vineyard was a turkey farm back when Yamhill County was a big turkey growing region. Some vineyard land is on what was once maintained as forest, but the conversions from other crops has been much larger source of acreage. Very little of the new vineyard development has been in the Coast Range. Most has been in-fill in areas known to successfully grow grapes. Land is going to be farmed in the way that produces the greatest financial benefit. In the last decade, grapes were the "flavor of the month". I suspect that won't be the case in the next decade.

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Re: The "Napa-fication" of the Willamette Valley

#17 Post by Keith Levenberg » October 1st, 2010, 6:45 am

I took "Napa-fication" to be a reference to Harlan Estate's Napa Valley Reserve, to which this project seems eerily reminiscent.

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Re: The "Napa-fication" of the Willamette Valley

#18 Post by Bob Wood » October 1st, 2010, 7:35 am

Gordon Fitz wrote:Bob;

Perhaps being there every day you don't notice all the new vineyards going in and the gaint swaths being taken out of the forest. Check with the county and see how many acres of vineyards have been added in the past 5 years. I think you will find the number to be rather large.
I think you should quit showing your ignorance. "Giant swaths" my ass.
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Re: The "Napa-fication" of the Willamette Valley

#19 Post by Gordon Fitz » October 1st, 2010, 7:39 am

Rick;

thanks for your comments.

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Re: The "Napa-fication" of the Willamette Valley

#20 Post by mike pobega » October 1st, 2010, 7:45 am

yeah, would hate to see this.

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Re: The "Napa-fication" of the Willamette Valley

#21 Post by Phillip F r a n k s » October 1st, 2010, 7:58 am

Very sad about Hyland indeed. My wife's family was the previous owner and partner of that beautiful place. Sad I couldn't raise the money to buy it from them a couple years ago.
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Re: The "Napa-fication" of the Willamette Valley

#22 Post by Gordon Fitz » October 1st, 2010, 11:23 am

Phillip;

Maybe sad or maybe not. You would very well be looking at a negative ROI with negative cash flow if you had bought it. Depends on how well you wallet can take those negatives.

There are quite a few new wineries in both CA and OR, that have been writen about before, whose business plan was based upon selling $50-$100+ wines. Not likely to happen. Nor is the continuance of those wineries unless they were very deeppocketed, more of a hobby than a business.

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Re: The "Napa-fication" of the Willamette Valley

#23 Post by Bob Wood » October 1st, 2010, 3:07 pm

For a mere $3.5 million, you can have this vineyard site, too. 207 acres, includes 4000 square foot house (a nice one) and only the pasture land. There are another 400 acres of mixed forest, scrub and pasture available. Point being, there's no need to clear forest land when there are parcels like this available if you were crazy enough to plant a vineyard this big.

If I had the $3.5 mil, I'd buy this place just for the setting. It's outside McMinnville, just above the Youngberg Hill B&B.

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Re: The "Napa-fication" of the Willamette Valley

#24 Post by Lee Short » October 1st, 2010, 6:01 pm

There's certainly a lot more bling in Oregon wine country than 10+ years ago. The tasting rooms all have expensive facades, and tasting fees are the norm, not the exception. Even Argyle used to only charge to taste the bubblies, and the still wines were free. So, yeah, there's no doubt that things have changed. The young pourer at De Ponte had no idea that Parker had ever reviewed Oregon wines himself!

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Re: The "Napa-fication" of the Willamette Valley

#25 Post by Bob Wood » October 1st, 2010, 6:54 pm

Lee Short wrote:There's certainly a lot more bling in Oregon wine country than 10+ years ago. The tasting rooms all have expensive facades, and tasting fees are the norm, not the exception.
I'd go you one further and say that tasting rooms are the norm, not the exception. Of course, with 400 wineries in the state, not all have tasting rooms, but 10 years ago there were maybe 10 that were open regularly north of Salem. The number now is probably 5 times that if not more.

Interestingly, of my favorite wineries, there are only 3 that maintain regular hours and they did ten years ago, too - Bethel Heights, Cristom and Witness Tree. They've also undergone the greatest price creep.
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Re: The "Napa-fication" of the Willamette Valley

#26 Post by Adam Lee » October 1st, 2010, 7:02 pm

In case anyone is interested --- here's the total Oregon acreage devoted to Vinifera:

2009 - 19,600
2008 - 19,300
2007 - 17,400
2006 - 15,600
2005 - 14,100
2003 - 13,400
2002 - 12,100
2001 - 11,100
2000 - 10,500
1999 - 9,800
1991 - 5,950
1990 - 5,682
1980 - 1,100
1972 - 200
1968 - 100

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Re: The "Napa-fication" of the Willamette Valley

#27 Post by Doug Ackerman » October 1st, 2010, 9:57 pm

And Adam, for reference sake I will report California's winegrape acreage:

California Winegrape Acreage Historical Totals
Year Bearing Non-bearing Reported Total *Estimated Total
2009 448,957 24,353 473,311 531,000
2008 443,690 27,120 470,810 526,000
2007 445,472 26,415 471,887 523,000
2006 448,003 27,279 475,282 527,000
2005 445,141 25,856 470,997 522,000
2004 440,296 26,639 466,935 513,000
2003 437,532 34,913 472,445 529,000
2002 431,777 50,089 481,266 556,000
2001 424,695 64,811 489,579 570,000
2000 403,287 77,392 480,679 568,000
1999 374,752 95,407 470,158 554,000
1998 342,547 84,734 427,282 507,000

I've heard it said that in Oregon "we are but a zit on the ass of California" in terms of grape acreage and cases of wine produced. No new information here...just some perspective.

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Re: The "Napa-fication" of the Willamette Valley

#28 Post by john holdredge » October 1st, 2010, 10:45 pm

Ha- ha.
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Re: The "Napa-fication" of the Willamette Valley

#29 Post by Bob Wood » October 2nd, 2010, 8:49 am

Colossal image fail.
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Re: The "Napa-fication" of the Willamette Valley

#30 Post by Bob Wood » October 2nd, 2010, 8:52 am

Adam Lee wrote:In case anyone is interested --- here's the total Oregon acreage devoted to Vinifera:

2009 - 19,600

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And 40,000 in Napa County alone, for whatever it's worth. I'm not sure I see your point.
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Re: The "Napa-fication" of the Willamette Valley

#31 Post by Adam Lee » October 2nd, 2010, 9:46 am

Bob,

Didn't really have a point --- other than to introduce some numbers into the pissing match that you and Gordon were having. neener

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Re: The "Napa-fication" of the Willamette Valley

#32 Post by Merrill Lindquist » October 2nd, 2010, 1:49 pm

Bob Wood wrote:
Adam Lee wrote:In case anyone is interested --- here's the total Oregon acreage devoted to Vinifera:

2009 - 19,600

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And 40,000 in Napa County alone, for whatever it's worth. I'm not sure I see your point.
According to Napa Valley Vintners, only 9% of Napa County is planted to vineyards, with only another 3% suitable for planting. And it is true that within the Ag Preserve (where I live and farm) you can only subdivide and build one house for every 40 acres, and in the hills (watershed area, I believe), only 1 per 160 acres. So while some folks are still building mansions, they have to be sizable estates, by definition of the ordinance. What style of architecture they choose is, as with most of these things, a matter of preference/taste.
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Re: The "Napa-fication" of the Willamette Valley

#33 Post by Bob Wood » October 2nd, 2010, 4:33 pm

Adam Lee wrote:Bob,

Didn't really have a point --- other than to introduce some numbers into the pissing match that you and Gordon were having. neener

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Re: The "Napa-fication" of the Willamette Valley

#34 Post by Gordon Fitz » October 2nd, 2010, 6:56 pm

No peeing contest on my part. I am very aware of the numbers Adam Lee put up. Can't argue why the Evanstads bought the property, but I can tell you the neighbors in the area are glad they did and that a hotel will never go on top of the mountain now.

Had Bob been elected to the zoning commision the Evanstads would never have been able to build their house or new winery. Penner Ash would still be in the old collective tasting rooms downtown. Soter would still be in his barn and no new tasting room. Trisatheum would be serving out of a trailer, as would Bergstrom,etc. etc, etc. That's just his view on life, well OK. But Bob wasn't appointed to the zoning commision. Winery tourism came to the Valley. I can understand his dislike of the conditions, the traffic in Dundee drives me crazy too, and as he said I'm only a frequent visitor.!

No more peeing contest on my part with Bob. We probably even disagree on the definition of a McMansion, but it's like wine, we all have our opinions, and I'll drink to that. [cheers.gif]

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Re: The "Napa-fication" of the Willamette Valley

#35 Post by Bob Wood » October 3rd, 2010, 4:42 pm

Gordon Fitz wrote:
Had Bob been elected to the zoning commision the Evanstads would never have been able to build their house or new winery. Penner Ash would still be in the old collective tasting rooms downtown. Soter would still be in his barn and no new tasting room. Trisatheum would be serving out of a trailer, as would Bergstrom,etc. etc, etc. That's just his view on life, well OK. But Bob wasn't appointed to the zoning commision. Winery tourism came to the Valley. I can understand his dislike of the conditions, the traffic in Dundee drives me crazy too, and as he said I'm only a frequent visitor.!
Gordon, you're wrong again. Tony Soter would still be in California or perhaps he would have never left Portland to begin with. Josh Bergstrom would be driving a tractor on his family's hobby vineyard, Lynn Penner-Ash would still be at Rex Hill and Grace Evenstad would be back in Minnesota admiring her ring.

Actually, Bergstrom and P-A have nice facilities. Bergstrom's is pretty rustic and P-A's blends into the hill very nicely. Trisateum isn't horrible if you like art galleries. At least it's down the hill from the road and doesn't stand out like a zit the size of a marble on the end of your nose like this place, which is bad enough on its own but is made worse by the attitude that spawned it.

Image

Oh . . . and Penner-Ash was never in a "collective tasting room downtown". They were at the Carlton Winemaker's Studio on the outskirts - such as they are - of Carlton. That was before there were any tasting rooms at all in the collective 3 or 4 square blocks that make up "downtown". rolleyes
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Re: The "Napa-fication" of the Willamette Valley

#36 Post by Greg Malcolm » October 3rd, 2010, 5:09 pm

Bob Wood wrote:Interestingly, of my favorite wineries, there are only 3 that maintain regular hours and they did ten years ago, too - Bethel Heights, Cristom and Witness Tree. They've also undergone the greatest price creep.
A bit of thread drift. I would agree with you, with regards to Bethel Heights pricing. However, based on my purchase records, the Witness Tree Vintage Select has only increased $5 over the past 7 vintages.

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Re: The "Napa-fication" of the Willamette Valley

#37 Post by Gordon Fitz » October 4th, 2010, 7:02 am

For those of you that have never been to Domaine Serene, the picture tht Bob shows would come from the very lower back side of the vineyard looking up at the winery. About 99.9% of visitors would never see that view. It is also very dated, in that DS has done extensive landscaping, which has grown a lot, and even that view is not representative of current conditions. As far as your hilarious fixation on Grace's ring. Having once lived in Texas for four years the audacious display of wealth by many of the residents there is such that anything Grace wears would seem conservative. But maybe for a young Oregon boy with few life experiences, it does seem large to you.

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Re: The "Napa-fication" of the Willamette Valley

#38 Post by Sean Moore » October 4th, 2010, 8:53 am

These prices seem cheap, like, really cheap. Is there property in Napa anywhere close to these prices?

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Re: The "Napa-fication" of the Willamette Valley

#39 Post by Bob Wood » October 4th, 2010, 10:30 am

Greg Malcolm wrote:
Bob Wood wrote:Interestingly, of my favorite wineries, there are only 3 that maintain regular hours and they did ten years ago, too - Bethel Heights, Cristom and Witness Tree. They've also undergone the greatest price creep.
A bit of thread drift. I would agree with you, with regards to Bethel Heights pricing. However, based on my purchase records, the Witness Tree Vintage Select has only increased $5 over the past 7 vintages.
In thinking about it, you're right. I was thinking more of BH and Cristom - and longer than 7 years ago, too. I think my first Cristom Marjorie was $40 at the winery. I'm pretty sure the "ladies" are now $55, but I'm too lazy to look it up.
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Re: The "Napa-fication" of the Willamette Valley

#40 Post by Bob Wood » October 4th, 2010, 10:39 am

Sean Moore wrote:These prices seem cheap, like, really cheap. Is there property in Napa anywhere close to these prices?
Which prices are those, Sean? The 200 acres near McMinnville? If so, I think there's a "volume discount". Certainly smaller parcels go for more per acre, even here, but I doubt you can touch property in NoCal for that price which, after figuring a rough estimate of the value for the house, is something around $13-15,000 per acre.
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Re: The "Napa-fication" of the Willamette Valley

#41 Post by Bob Wood » October 4th, 2010, 10:46 am

Gordon Fitz wrote:For those of you that have never been to Domaine Serene, the picture tht Bob shows would come from the very lower back side of the vineyard looking up at the winery. About 99.9% of visitors would never see that view. It is also very dated, in that DS has done extensive landscaping, which has grown a lot, and even that view is not representative of current conditions. As far as your hilarious fixation on Grace's ring. Having once lived in Texas for four years the audacious display of wealth by many of the residents there is such that anything Grace wears would seem conservative. But maybe for a young Oregon boy with few life experiences, it does seem large to you.
A 5-carat (or larger) stone is big anywhere, Gordon, but is considered REALLY flashy here, like it or not.

As for the view, it's true that most people won't go out into the vineyard to look back up the hill. But the view 99% of the people who visit the winery do get - on the drive out - is even more disturbing than the one I've pictured because from that close the facility's mass is much clearer. The one from the front, which 100% of visitors see, is bad enough.

And the landscaping? You're really reaching for your excuses now. The building is a travesty landscaping or not. Face it. And it's known around these parts as "Domaine Obscene". No, I didn't make that up, either.
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Re: The "Napa-fication" of the Willamette Valley

#42 Post by Sean Moore » October 4th, 2010, 10:54 am

Bob Wood wrote:Which prices are those, Sean? The 200 acres near McMinnville?
Both examples, that and the Hyland lots seem very reasonable and very attractive. If only...

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Re: The "Napa-fication" of the Willamette Valley

#43 Post by R yan C omaz zetto » October 4th, 2010, 1:40 pm

Gordon Fitz wrote:For those of you that have never been to Domaine Serene, the picture tht Bob shows would come from the very lower back side of the vineyard looking up at the winery. About 99.9% of visitors would never see that view. It is also very dated, in that DS has done extensive landscaping, which has grown a lot, and even that view is not representative of current conditions. As far as your hilarious fixation on Grace's ring. Having once lived in Texas for four years the audacious display of wealth by many of the residents there is such that anything Grace wears would seem conservative. But maybe for a young Oregon boy with few life experiences, it does seem large to you.
I don't want to get in the middle of this, but I have to agree with Bob here - DS is every bit as ridiculous and gaudy as he suggests (in my opinion).

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Re: The "Napa-fication" of the Willamette Valley

#44 Post by Richard T r i m p i » October 4th, 2010, 2:55 pm

Gordon Fitz wrote:...the audacious display of wealth by many of the residents there is such that anything Grace wears would seem conservative.
Or builds too? Gordon, the place is gaudy = "ostentacious and tastelessly ornamented". Honestly, do you get any sense of "place" looking at this?:

Image

as compared to say this?:

Image

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Re: The "Napa-fication" of the Willamette Valley

#45 Post by Jim Swayze » October 4th, 2010, 3:08 pm

Once again Bob Wood is right. It's a simple matter of taste, honesty, and fidelity to the spirit of the place that's being slowly eroded by some up there. I guess some people can't help but see an opportunity to "improve" a place. Leave it as it is!

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Re: The "Napa-fication" of the Willamette Valley

#46 Post by Bob Wood » October 4th, 2010, 5:24 pm

Thanks to all of you who agree with me. I couldn't let this subject go any farther without posting a pic of the "home" that "Papa Pinot" established for his work, now being ably carried on by his son, Jason. Palatial, no?

See, Gordon, this is what you don't get. This is where the wines have been made for 40 years from the first pinot noir planted in this valley. It's our heritage and not to be sneered upon by people who like to show off their wealth.

It's not that the Evenstads are wealthy, it's that they like to remind us. Dick Shea, to use one of your examples of another wealthy "outsider" who has come to the valley to make wine, does not. His new facility, which you've no doubt been to, is a working winery - not an Italianate villa with Roman columns and acres of travertine floors, and it fits into its place quite nicely. Pic below Eyrie's.

Image\

Image
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Re: The "Napa-fication" of the Willamette Valley

#47 Post by Gordon Fitz » October 4th, 2010, 6:01 pm

No time to argue now. Waiting on plane to Germany on business.

I am very assured that you preferred Eyrie. He only opened at Thanksgiving for many years and maybe later for MD too. He, like you, had an eat shit and die attitude toward visitors to the Valley. Each to his own. His son is not carrying on his tradition, he is now running a tasting room, with hours, so that people can try their wines. I buy their wines now that I can get in to taste them on visits.

Seems to me I remember Oregon having this huge battle with jobs, outsiders, and the environment. The majority wanted no in to come into the State and largely shut out new companies, except maybe software. As many of the residents started starving the death and unemployment soared, attitudes started to change. Duh! neener I guess there are still a few hippy diehards, like Bob, that wouldn't let Tony Soter in the State and would have run off the Evanstads(his earlier post) but the State as a whole has moved on. I can truly say that I liked DS's wines just as much when they operated out of the buildings down in Yamhill, as I do now with them working out offt he hill. But their market is larger than me and the local yokels and they do, like any business , what think is best for their image and business. In Burgundy, I have tasted great wines from palatial estates and dinky small cellars under houses, and most everything in between. All these wonderful places, imo, make up what is very special about the place. Same as with Oregon. You have everything from the Domaines and AS, to small little hole in the walls. It's all part of the flavor. If you prefer one over the other to me that's fine. Just enjoy the wine, and let the next guy enjoy what he does. Guess that sounds too much like "can't we all just get along.

They're calling my seats. Ein Prosit! [cheers.gif]

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Re: The "Napa-fication" of the Willamette Valley

#48 Post by Todd Hamina » October 4th, 2010, 7:08 pm

Come visit my glamorously industrial facility on Highway 18, just South of McMinnville, next to Washington Roofing and the D'Stake mill and prepare to be mortified.
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Re: The "Napa-fication" of the Willamette Valley

#49 Post by Rick Allen » October 5th, 2010, 6:30 am

Gordon Fitz wrote:No time to argue now. Waiting on plane to Germany on business.

I am very assured that you preferred Eyrie. He only opened at Thanksgiving for many years and maybe later for MD too. He, like you, had an eat shit and die attitude toward visitors to the Valley. Each to his own. His son is not carrying on his tradition, he is now running a tasting room, with hours, so that people can try their wines. I buy their wines now that I can get in to taste them on visits.

Seems to me I remember Oregon having this huge battle with jobs, outsiders, and the environment. The majority wanted no in to come into the State and largely shut out new companies, except maybe software. As many of the residents started starving the death and unemployment soared, attitudes started to change. Duh! neener I guess there are still a few hippy diehards, like Bob, that wouldn't let Tony Soter in the State and would have run off the Evanstads(his earlier post) but the State as a whole has moved on. I can truly say that I liked DS's wines just as much when they operated out of the buildings down in Yamhill, as I do now with them working out offt he hill. But their market is larger than me and the local yokels and they do, like any business , what think is best for their image and business. In Burgundy, I have tasted great wines from palatial estates and dinky small cellars under houses, and most everything in between. All these wonderful places, imo, make up what is very special about the place. Same as with Oregon. You have everything from the Domaines and AS, to small little hole in the walls. It's all part of the flavor. If you prefer one over the other to me that's fine. Just enjoy the wine, and let the next guy enjoy what he does. Guess that sounds too much like "can't we all just get along.

They're calling my seats. Ein Prosit! [cheers.gif]
I can't let this go. You remember incorrectly. In the 40 years I've lived here, the people of Oregon have never been "anti-business". In fact, despite recent increases we still have some of the lowest business taxes in the country. As far as shutting out everything but high tech, really? When unemployment was an issue it was mostly because a) we have less federal government presence than most states (basically no military), and b) Tektronix, a high tech company, downsized and moved jobs off-shore, reducing their employment in Oregon by some 18,000 workers between 1980 and 1995. Take out those anomalies and we track national trends pretty closely.

As far as Hyland Vineyard in concerned, if they can make it work, more power to them. Given the current grape supply environment, maybe it's one way to keep the vineyard going. While I'm not really big on McMansions, the money their owners bring to McMinnville helps make us one of the "fooodiest" small towns in the U.S., and makes it a great place to live.

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Re: The "Napa-fication" of the Willamette Valley

#50 Post by Mark Cooney » October 5th, 2010, 9:15 am

Rick Allen wrote:
Gordon Fitz wrote:No time to argue now. Waiting on plane to Germany on business.

I am very assured that you preferred Eyrie. He only opened at Thanksgiving for many years and maybe later for MD too. He, like you, had an eat shit and die attitude toward visitors to the Valley. Each to his own. His son is not carrying on his tradition, he is now running a tasting room, with hours, so that people can try their wines. I buy their wines now that I can get in to taste them on visits.

Seems to me I remember Oregon having this huge battle with jobs, outsiders, and the environment. The majority wanted no in to come into the State and largely shut out new companies, except maybe software. As many of the residents started starving the death and unemployment soared, attitudes started to change. Duh! neener I guess there are still a few hippy diehards, like Bob, that wouldn't let Tony Soter in the State and would have run off the Evanstads(his earlier post) but the State as a whole has moved on. I can truly say that I liked DS's wines just as much when they operated out of the buildings down in Yamhill, as I do now with them working out offt he hill. But their market is larger than me and the local yokels and they do, like any business , what think is best for their image and business. In Burgundy, I have tasted great wines from palatial estates and dinky small cellars under houses, and most everything in between. All these wonderful places, imo, make up what is very special about the place. Same as with Oregon. You have everything from the Domaines and AS, to small little hole in the walls. It's all part of the flavor. If you prefer one over the other to me that's fine. Just enjoy the wine, and let the next guy enjoy what he does. Guess that sounds too much like "can't we all just get along.

They're calling my seats. Ein Prosit! [cheers.gif]
I can't let this go. You remember incorrectly. In the 40 years I've lived here, the people of Oregon have never been "anti-business". In fact, despite recent increases we still have some of the lowest business taxes in the country. As far as shutting out everything but high tech, really? When unemployment was an issue it was mostly because a) we have less federal government presence than most states (basically no military), and b) Tektronix, a high tech company, downsized and moved jobs off-shore, reducing their employment in Oregon by some 18,000 workers between 1980 and 1995. Take out those anomalies and we track national trends pretty closely.

As far as Hyland Vineyard in concerned, if they can make it work, more power to them. Given the current grape supply environment, maybe it's one way to keep the vineyard going. While I'm not really big on McMansions, the money their owners bring to McMinnville helps make us one of the "fooodiest" small towns in the U.S., and makes it a great place to live.
Perhaps he is thinking of Tom McCall's (OR Governor from '67-'75) classic quote?
"We want you to visit our State of Excitement often. Come again and again. But for heaven's sake, don't move here to live. Or if you do have to move in to live, don't tell any of your neighbors where you are going. "

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